The Secretary of the Interior's Standards
for Rehabilitation are ten basic principles created to help preserve
the distinctive character of a historic building and its site, while
allowing for reasonable change to meet new needs.
The Standards apply to historic buildings of all periods, styles,
types, materials, and sizes. They apply to both the exterior and
the interior of historic buildings. The Standards also encompass
related landscape features and the building's site and environment
as well as attached, adjacent, or related new construction.
Rehabilitation projects must meet the following Standards,
as interpreted by the National Park Service, to qualify as “certified
rehabilitations” eligible for the 20% rehabilitation tax credit.
The Standards are applied to projects in a reasonable manner, taking
into consideration economic and technical feasibility.
1. A property shall
be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that
requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building
and its site and environment.
2. The historic
character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal
of historic materials or alteration of features and spaces that
characterize a property shall be avoided.
3. Each property
shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and
use. Changes that create a false sense of historical development,
such as adding conjectural features or architectural elements from
other buildings, shall not be undertaken.
4. Most properties
change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance
in their own right shall be retained and preserved.
5. Distinctive features,
finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship
that characterize a historic property shall be preserved.
historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where
the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive
feature, the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture,
and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials. Replacement
of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical,
or pictorial evidence.
7. Chemical or physical
treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic
materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of structures,
if appropriate, shall be undertaken using the gentlest means possible.
8. Significant archeological
resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved.
If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be
9. New additions,
exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy
historic materials that characterize the property. The new work
shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with
the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect
the historic integrity of the property and its environment.
10. New additions
and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in
such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form
and integrity of the historic property and its environment would